Calcium is a chemical element present in our body which is required for normal functioning of life. It is essential for all ages from children to senile. It is important, especially for women because they are more and easily prone to bone disorders. Calcium plays an important role in bone metabolism since it accounts for 70% of the total bone weight. So, any changes in its level cause bone disorders. The major source of calcium is dairy products such as milk, leafy, green vegetables and fish with soft bones.
The recommended dietary allowance for Adults is around 1000 mg /dl, whereas for elder people or pregnant women it is around 1200 mg/dl.
Women are more prone to calcium deficiency. Especially, women around 45 to 50 years old, who are going through menopause. This is because of the decrease in female hormone estrogen, which plays a vital role in calcium metabolism. Estrogen inhibits osteoclasts (bone-degrading cells) activity by reducing their number. It also helps to hold calcium in the body indirectly by promoting enzymes that create cholecalciferol (activated vitamin D). Vitamin D helps in calcium absorption from the intestines.
Women are at more risk for osteoporosis which mainly depends on the estrogen levels. This condition arises if they −
Experience sporadic or rare periods, or started having their periods at a later than typical age or adolescence.
Had their ovaries removed? (at any age).
Are in menopause stage or who are experiencing menopause at an early age having a considerably higher risk.
Another reason for calcium deficiency can be due to a lesser restricted intake of calcium-rich diets like milk, yogurt or sesame seeds.
Women have less bone mass when compared to men. So, their bone loss is more and at a faster rate when compared to men.
All these reasons cause either calcium excretion or decreased calcium absorption.
Milk and milk products are among the best sources of calcium. Cheese is also a good source of calcium.
Sardines, Palak (spinach), leafy green vegetable and Til (sesame) seeds are a good source of calcium.
Vitamin D is responsible for absorbing calcium efficiently. If there is a vitamin D deficiency, then calcium absorption decreases leading to its rejection even on calcium intake. Thereby it regulates calcium levels in the blood by decreasing bone loss, fractures, and also helps to prevent osteoporosis. Vitamin D is synthesized in our body when exposed to sunlight, especially during early mornings.
The role of Magnesium in calcium metabolism is to promote the synthesis of a hormone called calcitonin. It removes calcium out of the blood and sends it back into the bones which prevent bone disorders. They also have an indirect effect on calcium absorption.
Intake of calcium salts like calcium carbonate and vitamin D tablets.